By Jeff Louderback
With an eye on moving hard-throwing 26-year-old left-hander Franklin Morales back into the starting rotation, the Red Sox acquired left-handed reliever Craig Breslow from Arizona this afternoon for right-handed reliever Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik. The trade was initially reported by FoxSportsArizona.com.
The move not only gives the Red Sox an additional lefty in the bullpen since Rich Hill is on the DL, but it also clears up a 40-man roster spot.
The 31-year-old Breslow pitched for the Red Sox in 2006, owns a career 3.02 ERA and he posted a 2.70 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a .233 batting average against for the Diamondbacks this year. Left-handers are hitting .243 against him while righties have a .226 mark.
Albers, who is 29, has a 2.29 ERA, allowing 30 hits in 39.1 innings, yet he was expendable with the presence of right-hander Andrew Bailey (who is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday) and fellow righties Daniel Bard, Clayton Mortensen, Mark Prior and Alex Wilson at Pawtucket.
The 36-year-old Podsednik was part of Boston’s surplus that was developed because of multiple injuries to outfielders this season. Kalish, who has a high ceiling and has a chance to earn Boston’s starting right field job in 2013, and right-handed hitting J.C. Linares, who is raking at Pawtucket offer the team better options than Podsednik.
Returning Morales to the rotation is a better alternative than acquiring an outside starter since opposing teams wanted big prospect hauls for arms like Josh Johnson, Matt Garza, Jason Vargas and Justin Masterson.
In five starts this season, Morales has a 3.42 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and a .220 batting average against. Earlier in his career, he was considered one of the top 100 prospects in the game by Baseball America when he was a starting pitcher in the Colorado Rockies organization.